Oh, I'm aware of how incredibly messed up he was. I do believe, like anyone else, he had useful things to say. Actually, his bullshit character is a reminder that having great insights does not a shaman make. Rolemodel wise, Miguel Ruiz is a much more squared away person. But I don't believe he is some guru either. I didn't get much from castanedas works after the first couple. I've never believed anyone could escape being full of crap. I do know its my job to keep mine as in check as possible.
I think its an easy thing to do for someone who believes they have been chosen; to be blind to their own shortcomings. But in my life, young as I am, I've done things I villified in others and it is in those times when I realised just how human I am. It also did a great deal to teach me compassion, especially for others mistakes.
I think of Robert Heinlein as a great influence too, and all his works are science fiction. As some of more native traditions have proven, there is a lot of value in a good story.
“For an instant I think I saw. I saw the loneliness of man as a gigantic wave which had been frozen in front of me, held back by the invisible wall of a metaphor.”
― Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan